Elly Hong

The Common is Hiring: Be Our Next Interviews Editor

The Interviews Editor organizes and edits a monthly interview feature for The Common Online. (Examples of recent interviews can be found here or here.) Additional interviews may be coordinated by TC’s central editorial team, in consultation with the Interviews Editor. A biannual honorarium is available for this position.

 

The Common is Hiring: Be Our Next Interviews Editor
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Connecting What Has Been Severed with Sudan: The Short Story as it Fills Voids with Imagining

By HISHAM BUSTANI

Translated by ALAN IRID FENDI

 

Every attempt to reach Osman al-Houri has failed. Some corroborative sources have informed me that the man has retreated to an isolated village, that he does not own a cell phone, and that there is no way to reach him. Even more than that, he has evidently given up—deserted, and renounced writing, or so I am told. It is May 2019, and at the moment there is a revolution in Sudan, and people, among them a great number of authors, have taken to the streets and squares, demanding the fall of a regime that has—like many of its “siblings”—weighed down on and repressed them for decades. The Sudanese regime—again like many of its siblings in such circumstances—has shut down the internet for nearly a month now, taken to shooting live bullets at protesters and setting loose its henchmen upon them. By so doing, the regime has further complicated the means of connection with a country whose connection with its Arab surroundings (perhaps excepting Egypt) is already complicated and semi-severed. In light of this, can one even speak of literary connection, especially in a field that in our times has become ever more “elitist”: that of the short story?

Connecting What Has Been Severed with Sudan: The Short Story as it Fills Voids with Imagining
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Notes on Camp: 2020

By VAL WANG

“John jumped.”

I had no idea what the short sentence meant, only that it came from the Bible and when I said it, all the other campers in my Bible study group laughed and I was off the hook for answering any more questions about God, Jesus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, none of which I knew anything about.

Notes on Camp: 2020
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July 2020 Poetry Feature: Loren Goodman

New poems by LOREN GOODMAN

Please welcome back long-time TC contributor Loren Goodman.

Table of Contents:

—G-d in a Cup

—Dear Jeremy

—Due to the Light

—Dolphin Facts

Loren Goodman was born in Kansas and studied in New York, Tucson, Buffalo and Kobe. He is the author of Famous Americans, selected by W.S. Merwin for the 2002 Yale Series of Younger Poets, and Non-Existent Facts (otata’s bookshelf, 2018), as well as the chapbooks Suppository Writing (The Chuckwagon, 2008), New Products (Proper Tales Press, 2010) and, with Pirooz Kalayeh, Shitting on Elves & Other Poems (New Michigan Press, 2020). A Professor of Creative Writing and English Literature at Yonsei University/Underwood International College in Seoul, Korea, he serves as the Chair of Comparative Literature and Culture and Creative Writing Director.

July 2020 Poetry Feature: Loren Goodman
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Reading Black Voices: TC Staff Picks II

This is the second in a series of features highlighting the Black writers our editors and staff have been reading. To read The Common’s statement in support of the nationwide protests against anti-Black racism, white supremacy, and police brutality, click here.

Recommendations: Kingdom Animalia by Aracelis Girmay, Neon Vernacular by Yusef Komunyakaa, I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood by Tiana Clark.

Reading Black Voices: TC Staff Picks II
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Home Below Sea Level

By CLANCY MCKENNA

House

Broad Channel, Queens, New York

I grew up on an island called Broad Channel in southern Queens that was at or below sea level, depending on the tide. My dad’s house was one that was high and dry. We lived on Cross Bay Boulevard, the main street which ran down the spine of our croissant-shaped island. The boulevard only flooded during hurricanes or nor’easters that came on the full or the new moon. In some of the lower streets in the town, kids would show up late to school because they had to wait for the tide to go out before they could step out of their homes. Often, the high tide water flooded their blocks.

Home Below Sea Level
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June 2020 Poetry Feature: David Mills

New work by DAVID MILLS

Table of Contents

  • Breath’s Breath: Japhet
  • Talking to the Bones: Talking
  • Long in That Late-Afternoon Light: Bukay

These poems are part of a series about slavery in New York City. The City is home to America’s oldest and largest slave cemetery—The Negro Burial Ground—which is located in Manhattan’s City Hall area. This slave cemetery (officially open between 1712-1795) contains 15,000 bodies.

June 2020 Poetry Feature: David Mills
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Sara Who Married a Dead Man

By AHMAD AL MALIK

Translated from the Arabic by ROBIN MOGER

 

The zaar concluded on the tenth day. With a small retinue, Sara went down to the Nile.

On this, the last day, she had to wash every inch of her body in the river’s sacred waters, and then the celebrations could begin. She stepped quickly, her body weightless now all the years of waiting and false promises were set aside. Face shining, renewed, it was as though three decades of dread had swirled up and away with the incense smoke and the dust raised by the devil’s music. Purged of its frustrations, her mind could usher in thoughts of hope, and it seemed to her now, as she stepped out of the house and back into the world outside, that divine care had granted her its protection; was shielding her from time, against oblivion.

Sara Who Married a Dead Man
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Joint Account

By THORAYA EL-RAYYES

 

1

sighing, she wraps the fifth layer of white cloth over the body, folding the corner of each sheet away from the stiffened face. “alhamdulillah, like a rose” the corpsewasher says to the windowless room of sullen women as she runs her broad hand over the cold cheek. the last few beads of water drip from the washing table onto the tiled floor and slide toward a large silver drain.

Joint Account
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